Coworking beloved by users but not bean counters, survey finds

Coworking magazine Deskmag presented the results of its second annual coworking survey at the Coworking Europe Conference last week, releasing the first results on its blog as well. While confirming that coworking is well-loved by movement participants, the results did uncover challenges ahead for the movement.
Deskmag talked to 1,500 people in 52 countries to reach its conclusion, working with a web of partner organizations. The verdict was great news for coworking when it comes to the individual benefits of participating:

  • 93 percent said their social circle had increased a lot as a result of joining a coworking space
  • 86 percent said their business network had grown
  • 76 percent reported an increase in productivity
  • 88 percent said their isolation had decreased

Respondents were nearly universally enthusiastic (96 percent) about the sense of community at their spaces, with 54 percent trusting fellow members enough to always leave a laptop unattended and 29 percent happy to leave one for a few hours.
While coworking is clearly well-loved by space members, the news was more mixed for space owners, with only 40 percent of coworking spaces reporting making a profit this year. This confirms concerns about finding a profitable model for spaces without sacrificing the ambiance and community that members value so highly, which we have heard previously from owners and managers.
More detailed results from the survey are due out soon.
Do you think much of the coworking movement is built on a shaky business model?
Image courtesy of Flickr user mdanys